This writer describes the risks and pitfalls of retaining legacy identity security solutions in the brave new era of digital-first infrastructures.

The adoption of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings continues to climb, but the increasing complexity of distributed networks and dependency on third party tools is making the road to cloud success a bumpy and unpredictable ride. 

IT and security teams will need to manage, integrate, and secure SaaS environments that may include hundreds of apps for thousands of users across the organization. However, a primary challenge for organizations is the absence of complete visibility and insights into their access data.

Additionally, a predominantly manual, human-based strategy can result in over-provisioning access, causing non-compliance and unnecessary exposure to security risks. 

The cons of legacy identity management

Inertia can be the greatest challenge in identity security. In the past, IT teams may have opted for an identity management solution before the growth of digitalization, and therefore have held onto legacy systems.

However, this is not sustainable as legacy identity systems were not designed to manage today’s security pressures and the increasing volume of new identity types in various IT environments.

Often, legacy identity solutions are not able to provide a comprehensive view of user access across all business applications, and this challenge is further exacerbated when information is spread across both on-premises and cloud-based environments, making it difficult to maintain compliance.

More than that, operational efficiency can also be impaired, as legacy solutions can struggle with managing a high volume of access privileges spread across applications and environments, leading to potentially granting of inappropriate access privileges to users. 

Chern-Yue Boey, Senior Vice President, APAC, SailPoint

As digital transformation initiatives push towards the expansion of cloud computing, legacy identity solutions will find it challenging to continue evolving and adapting to the complexities of the hybrid environment. With the rise of digitalization and other factors, the number of users, points of access, applications, and data sets has increased dramatically. Therefore, businesses today need identity security solutions that are built to encompass both cloud and on-premises environments, to ensure that their entire IT ecosystem stays secure even as they scale digital operations.

Enter AI-driven identity security

Today, with AI-driven identity solutions, businesses stand to gain the trifecta of speed, automation, and flexibility. It is what will enable organizations to anticipate user access needs, adapt and automate security policies, spot risky user actions, and connect and control access to all key areas of the organization. Some of the benefits:

    • Organizations can look towards commanding a comprehensive and integrated view of user access. This can help improve access visibility, accelerate the discovery of problematic access patterns, support audit accuracy, and enable compliance activity, ensuring the organization’s security posture is strong against potential threats and risks.
    • High-risk access areas can be identified as well, with AI spotting trends that can enable organizations to eliminate manual efforts in analyzing user access, and provide automation to align access to business needs.
    • An autonomous identity security solution can also identify outliers and determine whether access should be approved or removed, providing detailed analysis to reinforce automated decisions, while low-risk access approvals can be accelerated.
    • Moreover, AI-driven identity security can support improved compliance with data protection laws: by managing access controls, data privacy policies, and consent.

Finally, for highly regulated industries like healthcare and financial services, local data centers are available to enable them to meet data residency and privacy requirements, and to unlock intelligent and flexible solutions, so that they need not choose between cloud-enabled digital transformation and safeguarding digital operations.